As a student journalist, I began the year by writing up my personal journalistic philosophy. This was informed by Theodore Glasser’s argument about objectivity being a value that leaves him asking the question, does objectivity make ones reporting responsible? (Glasser, 1992). His response as well as my own is simply that objectivity allows journalist to live under the guise of reporting the facts which they themselves had no hand in creating and are removed from the work which they publish to the public (Glasser, 1992). I stated explicitly in my philosophy that I believe the “very construction of the story, from the people the journalist chooses to interview, the questions they ask and what lead they go with makes the story bias.” Objectivity is a very mainstream media ideal and makes the journalist focus far too much on the official sources and usually leave the marginalised voices, or those being reported on, disempowered. My philosophy was also informed by the context in which I find myself working as a journalist, that being Grahamstown. This town is burdened with inequalities that resulted from colonialism and apartheid and change seems to tarry. Against this backdrop, I set out to I set out to, in my reporting, value the word of the expert as much as that of the ordinary citizen. I also made it my objective to allow people to “be the masters of their own stories”. I think that after a year of actually gathering news stories, features and being afforded the opportunity to do a course on journalism, democracy and development, I now have a greater vocabulary with which to articulate what I set out to do as a journalist as well as an understanding of what I can do with journalism. This now means there are standards I will now add to my personal philosophy.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I tutored another group of Journalism 2 students at Rhodes University. This second semesters radio magazine show looked at whether residences at the university are a space where students feel safe or if these structres simply foster an environment of violence.
Margaret Ngcangca has a big heart for children and for helping her community in Joza Township in Grahamstown. She runs Home of Joy, an oprhanage where all the children she has taken in call her "Makhulu", a Xhosa word that means "Granny". She believes that mothers in the community should be concerned about what's happening with children in the neighbourhood and that they should all play their part in helping orphaned children. Ngcangca spoke to me about Home of Joy.
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A picture of Home of Joy from the main road in Grahamstown's Ward 7